Russell Williams: Serial Murderer and Rapist
To: Russell Williams, serial sex killer.
Thanks for the ride.
As mementos, the Canadian airforce colonel would come to prefer brassieres, panties and lingerie - the fetish trove of intimate apparel that he burgled from scores of residences. But a signed, framed photograph of the sovereign was quite nice.
He hung the picture on the wall of his home office.
In all likelihood, Williams is probably the only rapist-murderer to have ever received a prezzie from Her Majesty.
No doubt, she'd like it back.
It was Russell who flew the CC-150 Polaris that delivered the Queen and Prince Philip from London to Canada in 2005. It was Russell who piloted the royal passengers across the country in a week-long tour. And it was Russell who accepted the gift that the Queen presented at the tour's conclusion as an expression of her gratitude for service rendered.
No word on whether the picture now decorates the tiny prison cell where Russell will spend at least the next 25 years, and probably the rest of his miserable life.
The disgraced and staggeringly felonious former colonel, 46, pleaded guilty last fall to 88 charges: two counts of first-degree murder, two sexual assaults and 82 thefts -- the pilfering of at least 1,400 female undergarments, many of which he'd used for the purpose of masturbation.
As his own endlessly fascinating camera subject, the narcissist Russell took photographs of himself wearing the items, usually in the very bedrooms that he'd invaded. Upwards of 3,000 pix would be retrieved from Russell's vast digital collection, snaps of himself and his trophies.
The wing commander's grotesqueries are detailed in a recently published book, A New Kind of Monster: The Secret Life and Chilling Crimes of Colonel Russell Williams, by Tim Appleby.
Like most sexual deviants, Russell led a double life - head of Canada's busiest airforce base by day and skulking predator by night. One of the women he brutalized and killed was a corporal under his command.
But the length to which Russell compartmentalized his existence is astonishing. Though he preyed on neighbours, slipping into homes clustered around the two houses he owned - a cottage near Trenton, Ont., and the suburban Ottawa abode he shared with his wife - Russell never drew attention as a suspect. It was only the happenstance of being stopped at a police rolling roadblock that brought him into the investigation's crosshairs, the tires on his vehicle matching tread marks obtained from the vicinity of a murder scene.
He'd been a rapidly rise star in the military, at one point taking charge of Camp Mirage in the United Arab Emirates, the hush-hush compound that functioned as a transit for Afghanistan-bound Canadian and coalition troops. Russell had personally piloted aircraft delivering troops between Afghanistan and Canada.
Also on his resume: flying VIPs around the country, from prime ministers to royalty. Which brought him face-to-face with the Queen, a most precious cargo, on Flight Royal One.
What's become of Her Majesty's personal present to Russell is unknown.
Maybe it's been re-gifted.